22 July 2021
Res Publica, in cooperation with the Visegrad Fund, Google and the Financial Times, as well as dozens of institutions from Central and Eastern Europe, has today announced the list of 100 leaders of innovation in the region.
The list of New Europe 100 was created as part of a campaign, which aims at promoting innovation in Central and Eastern Europe by distinguishing those who are the engine of positive changes. Candidates for the New Europe 100 list could have been people and teams that use new technologies in their industries, and their activities have a positive impact on the economy, science, culture and the local communities.
Among the 100 distinguished innovators, most people come from Poland. Representatives from other countries come from Slovakia – 16 people, the Czech Republic – 14, Hungary – 8, Bulgaria – 6, Latvia – 5, Estonia – 5, Ukraine – 5, Lithuania – 4, Romania – 3, Belarus – 2, Azerbaijan – 1, and Croatia – 1. The average age of the innovation leaders in the region is thirty-five years, whereas among the youngest group of sixteen people, five are Poles, including the youngest on the entire list NE100 – a high school student from Piotrków Trybunalski.
The featured people (teams, institutions) represent different areas such as: business (38% nominated innovators), society or politics (30%), media and culture (17%), and science (15%). All of them distinguish courage in having innovative, groundbreaking ideas that have a chance to solve the serious problems of society, as well as actions significantly affecting local conditions, carried out on a global scale or having the potential to become so.
We have been working on the list for nearly a year. We were interested in innovators of different professions who decide today how to shape tomorrow. Thanks to them we have discovered that despite of stereotypes, our region has a lot to offer. It can be even said that the culture of startups has been blooming here for the last 25 years – the time, when Central Europe had started from the scratch and it’s still on the rise today – Wojciech Przybylski, editor of Res Publica Nowa and organizer of the New Europe 100.
Twenty-five years after the fall of communism, the region has largely achieved the level of freedom and economic development, which provide for great momentum for strengthening creativity and innovation. We’re seeing Central and Eastern European entrepreneurs emerging in a variety of industries and we know first hand the talent that exists in the region. NE100 is about capturing the momentum and potential of developing a stronger innovation environment and we want to do this by shining a light on, and celebrating, those whose work may drive the region forward towards the next 25 years – Agata Wacławik-Wejman.
Among the leaders of innovation there are, for example, 17-year-old Joanna Jurek, a high school student from Piotrków Trybunalski, who developed a unique way to deliver drugs directly to cancer cells of the pancreas, Patryk Strzelewicz and Michał Bąk, the originators of an electronic dice DICE +, as well as Michał Grześ who constructed a Martian rover Hyperion. While from Slovakia, Štefan Klein was distinguished for the aeromobil project, a unique combination of car and airplane, and from Romania – Ionut Budisteanu for a self-driving car.
The full list of 100 innovators in Central and Eastern Europe can be found at www.ne100.org and was announced at the European Forum for New Ideas (EFNI) in Sopot, Poland, on 2 October 2014.
Candidates were nominated by organizers of the project and a group of nomination partners, including inter alia research centers, public authorities, non-profit organizations, and experts from every country in Central and Eastern Europe.